Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and the liver
HGH has a very solid effect on the human liver, and these effects have been studied for years by the pharmaceutical and medical industry. Research on the connection between HGH and the liver suggest that liver cells (hepatocytes) secrete insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) hormone in response to the presence of HGH. Basically, growth hormone stimulates the production of IGF-1 by the liver. IGF-1 indirectly affects the function of HGH by acting on HGH’s target cells, thereby promoting and mediating HGH’s growth promoting effects.
Some of the ways through which IGF-1 promotes growth include:
- It stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of cartilage cells also known as chondrocytes, which help in promoting bone growth.
- It promotes muscle growth by stimulating the proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts. These myoblasts in turn, increase protein synthesis and amino acid uptake in the muscles.
Growth hormone also works hand in hand with the liver in regulating blood glucose in the body, because of its anti-insulin properties and enhancement of glucose synthesis in the liver.
Growth hormone therapy has been proven to treat various liver diseases, including liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is a major cause of mortality and morbidity across the globe. Cases of liver cirrhosis may be mild, but sometimes, there are complications such as hepatocellular carcinoma, gastrointestinal bleeding, enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly), and hepatic encephalopathy. Causes of liver cirrhosis include drinking too much alcohol, viral hepatitis, obesity, etc.
HGH therapy helps in battling liver cirrhosis by increasing the regeneration rate of liver cells, and synthesis of protein molecules, thus counteracting the effects of cirrhosis on the liver.
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